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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: December 13, 2013


NEW CASTLE (Dec. 13, 2013) - Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf announced a key leadership transition at the Delaware Psychiatric Center as hospital director Gregory A. Valentine (MSW, LSCSW) leaves for a new position in Arizona and Dr. Gerard Gallucci (MD, MHS), medical director for DHSS' Office of the Secretary, becomes acting hospital director next month. Landgraf said a national search will be conducted to find Valentine's permanent successor.

Valentine, who has served as DPC's director since September 2011, has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive hospital discharge planning process that has reduced DPC's average daily census from 151 clients in 2011 to 124 clients in 2013. Many clients were successfully discharged to live in the community with necessary supports and services after being treated at DPC for years or even decades. DPC's current average census is 115 clients. During Valentine's tenure, DPC also has:

"It is with regret that I am leaving DPC," said Valentine, who came to DPC after serving as CEO and superintendent of the Osawatomie State Hospital and Rainbow Mental Health Facility, two state mental health hospitals in Osawatomie and Kansas City, Kan. "I have been so impressed with the DPC staff and their commitment to client care. I am proud of the progress the DPC team has made to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of DPC."

Kevin Ann Huckshorn (PhD, RN, CADC), director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH), praised Valentine's leadership.

"For the past two years, it has been my honor to have the opportunity to both hire and work closely with Greg," Huckshorn said. "He has been very effective in helping us both to stabilize and greatly improve operations at DPC."

Huckshorn said many challenges remain at DPC, including further reducing acute-care bed days and accumulated bed days; continuing to discharge long-term clients, especially those individuals with complex medical conditions, safely to the community with appropriate services and supports; and further developing evidence-based treatment services for individuals who can be served in the community.

Dr. Gallucci, who is a board-certified psychiatrist with licenses in Delaware and Maryland, previously served as the medical director for DSAMH. He graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington and has a master's of health science from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore. He serves on DPC's Residency Program as the designated institutional officer. He also has current appointments as an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a joint appointment at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health in its Department of Mental Hygiene. In addition, he serves as an adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He was elected as a distinguished fellow to the American Psychiatric Association in 2003.

"I'm looking forward to working with the clients and staff of the Delaware Psychiatric Center, and plan to build on the many accomplishments that are helping to transform the hospital into a Center of Excellence," Dr. Gallucci said. "We need to continue the improvements in our facility-based treatment program that will support individuals recovering from mental health conditions and help them to transition successfully to community-based treatments. As Delaware works to change the broader health care system through innovation, it's an exciting time to be working in the field of behavioral health and to be part of the team at DPC."

Landgraf and Huckshorn said they are confident a smooth transition will be made as they search for a successor to Valentine.

"I am pleased with the progress that DPC has made under Greg's leadership," Secretary Landgraf said. "I am equally confident that Dr. Gallucci will continue the momentum in our transformation of DPC, and I look forward to engaging in a national search for Greg's permanent successor."

"Having worked with Dr. Gallucci for the past five years, I am confident that DPC, under his leadership, will continue the ongoing transformation without pause," Huckshorn said.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.